Frequently Asked Questions

What is the THN difference?

Using our purpose built member tracking database and web based recruitment process, The Human Network is able to take recruitment to a level far beyond that of traditional telephone recruiters. We use customised software and technology to provide the level of service required to meet increasingly complex client specifications and deadlines. Our extensive, centrally-managed national database provides respondents for a wide range of market research projects around Australia and is continually refreshed and updated, guaranteeing that we source the very best candidates for your project.

What is the THN benefit to clients?

You deal with one company and one Project Manager from start to finish

Recruitment for every project is handled entirely at one central point, with one Project Manager who liaises with you at every stage and keeping you informed of project progression.

Fast, cost effective and quality recruitment

Unlike traditional telephone recruitment, our internet-based recruitment system allows us to instantly contact hundreds of thousands of people across Australia, allowing us to find the people you need for your project. All eligible respondents are rescreened and reconfirmed by telephone which ensures our panellist completion rates are consistently high.

Complete project integrity

We create a unique screener for all projects to ensure respondent information is current and ensure our recruitment process is 100% consistent for every respondent, eliminating any possible interviewer ‘bias’ or screening ‘shortcuts’ to meet quotas.

Consumer feedback

A complete set of screening responses for each respondent is available to the client as is ‘real time’ viewing of responses once an email screener has been issued.

How do you initiate a project with THN?

Simply contact us with your project specifications and we will do the rest. Our quotations are valid for 90 days and are based on your specific requirements. Once you have accepted the quote we will appoint a Project Manager and script a web-based recruitment questionnaire available for your approval if required. Throughout the recruitment process the Project Manager will regularly liaise with the client and manage any issues that may arise.

Who are THN respondents?

The Human Network database has an extensive membership who register and updates their details via the associated website:

Respondents register and ‘double opt in’ from a wide range of sources including referrals from existing members, search engine locators, community sites, and social media reach.

Our database is continually monitored and refreshed with new registrations received each day. We do not purchase lists from other organisations or list brokers and all member details are kept in a secure encrypted format.

Our customised database management system allows us to track all project and respondent activity including panellist history and frequency of participation.

How does THN recruitment work?

For each project, we produce a web-based screening questionnaire according to client specifications.

Respondents receive an email from The Human Network inviting them to participate by clicking on a once-only link directing them to the screening questionnaire. All responses are validated against the client’s specification.

Eligible respondents are then contacted twice: first by SMS, telephone and email and then reconfirmed. All respondents are emailed with all relevant venue details, maps, session times and details of any ‘pre task’ requirements.

Prior to the group or interview, a well defined process of reminding and confirming attendance is carried out ensuring the best possible attendance.

What fieldwork services are offered by THN?

We are able to help you with:

  • Organising and booking venues, catering requirements, specialist staff and equipment.
  • Large and small projects involving taste testing, concept testing and product evaluation in major cities across Australia.
  • Organising the specific logistics and implementing protocols required for field sessions involving a wide range of food and beverage products.
  • Managing in-home product placement.
  • Scripting, hosting and managing the completion of client questionnaires for online surveys at CLT or IHUT.
  • Providing tablets at CLT sessions for consumer face-to-face data entry via a wireless connection.

And a lot more, simply tell us what you need!

Terms of trade

Rushton Services Pty Ltd trading as The Human Network [THN] (ACN: 625 846 460) agrees to provide the “Services” as described in the body of the written Quotation together with any appended documents to the Client (you). Sometimes our services may be described in an associated “Service Description” document published by THN which forms part of the Quotation. Before commencing a Service it is a requirement of THN that the following terms and conditions are understood and accepted.

1. The quotation or fixed price service is valid for three months from date of issue unless specifically stated otherwise and is in Australian Dollars (AUD)

2. Payment is due within 30 days from the date of our invoice unless specifically stated otherwise. These payment terms are independent of any payment terms & conditions that may be applicable between our Client (you) and your client.

3. Subject to Australian Taxation Office rulings, GST is not applicable to incentive payments quoted by THN or when invoicing certain international Clients. This will be indicated in this Quotation.

4. Any changes to the Client specification confirmed in the quotation including recruitment criteria, methodology, dates, times, venues, postponements, cancellations, must be advised to THN in writing. In some cases, a review of costs or additional fees may be payable.

  • Cancellation fees:
  1. Deposits or payments for any venues or facilities secured by THN for the project.
  2. Purchase or hire fees of any equipment specifically obtained for the purposes of the project.
  3. Incidental costs such as couriers, postage, printing, travel, subcontractor services, subsistence, and accommodation expenses.
  4. Any software development or scripting of screening or any other project related questionnaires.
  5. Administration costs including cancellation of participants.
  6. Any full or partial incentive payments to participants where pre-work is involved.
  7. On commencement of recruitment, in the event a project is cancelled, full recruitment will be charged for any respondent booked.
  • Postponement fees:
  1. Administration costs of contacting participants, venues and any associated suppliers.
  2. Fee for rescheduling participants.
  3. Fee for recruiting replacement participants.
  4. Any incidental expenses (such as those described above)
  • Incentives for cancellation / postponement:
  1. Less than 8 hours notice before session, 50% incentive to be paid to respondent
  2. Less than 4 hours notice before session 100% incentive to be paid to respondent
  3. In the event a pre-task has been completed, 100% for this component up to 48 hours prior to session

5. If THN provides and manages the participant incentive a handling fee of 10% of total value will be charged, unless under prior arrangement.

6. No participant should be excluded from a project by the Client for what may be perceived as discriminatory reasons.

7. All participant contact details including telephone numbers and email addresses remain the property of THN and may not be used or retained by the Client or any of their agents for any purpose other than the contracted service. The participant may not be contacted for any other Market Research sessions or for any other purpose without the written permission of THN.

8. THN accepts no liability for any costs associated with incentive payments, venue hire, travel expenses, participant show rates caused by major transport accidents & delays, weather events or any other circumstances commonly described as “an act of God”.

9. For services involving supply of CLT fieldwork where THN incurs significant initial cost, an invoice for 50% of the fieldwork fee (excluding recruitment & incentives) will be issued to the Client on project acceptance.

10. THN has Public Liability Cover valid throughout Australia. However, it is the responsibility of the Client to ensure they also have appropriate and current insurance cover for any potential claims or disputes by participants arising from the Service.

11. If the Quotation is accepted by the Client then an approved Purchase Order, internal Client project number or approval in writing by an authorised representative of the Client should be provided to THN, prior to project commencement.

What is THN’s Privacy Policy?


Realtime Research is a division of Rushton Services Pty Ltd T/A The Human Network - ABN 36 625 846 460 - a wholly owned Australian company established in 1999 to primarily conduct market research recruitment on behalf of its clients and to provide an internet based capability to host questionnaires.

The Human Network is a member of ADIA and respects and upholds your rights under the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988.

The Human Network also adheres to the Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2021 and the The Research Society’s Code of Professional Behaviour.

For more information about the Privacy Act, the Australian Privacy Principles and the Code click here:

This Privacy Policy for The Human Network lets you know:

  • what personal information of yours we hold, how we collect it, what we do with it, who we will disclose it to
  • how you can access the personal information we hold about you and how to change inaccurate personal information
  • how to opt out of receiving communications from us
  • how to inquire or complain about The Human Network and its application of the Australian Privacy Principles

We make our Privacy Policy easily accessible and available on our website as part of the Privacy section.

What personal information about you does The Human Network collect and hold?

(a) Registration:

The information The Human Network collects at registration will include: your first and last name, contact phone numbers, email address and residential suburb.

For the purposes of identifying the correct participant and in order to participate in Market and Social Research, it is not possible to remain anonymous or to be identified by a pseudonym. This is also not possible when we receive your contact details from a third party or where the research data itself may potentially allow for identification.

(b) Screening / Recruitment:

Depending on the nature of the research we are recruiting for, we may also collect sensitive information from you, including political opinion or health information etc. Sensitive information will only be collected with your prior consent and only if it is directly related to, or reasonably necessary for, the research being conducted by our client.

How does The Human Network collect and hold your personal information?

The Human Network will generally collect your personal information directly from you in the course of you registering with Realtime Research and when participating in our screening questionnaires. However, we may also from time to time collect personal information about you from third parties, such as organisations that provide lists of potential candidates for research. If so, we will inform you as soon as practicable of this collection and the circumstances of this collection.

What are the purposes for which The Human Network uses, handles and discloses your personal information?

We will only use and disclose your personal information for the purpose of conducting our clients’ research and in accordance with this Privacy Policy. We will not use or disclose your personally identifiable information for the purpose of advertising, promotions or direct marketing activities. If you declined to participate in our client’s research, we may use your personal information to re-contact you for a research purpose if we have valid reasons to believe a genuine research concern warrants such re-contact. If you have participated in our client’s research, you will only be re-contacted by them if you have given your permission.

Who will The Human Network disclose your personal information to?

We will not disclose any personally identifiable research information we collect from you unless we have your express prior consent and will only report the information you provide to our client. We will not disclose any personal information or personally identifiable research information to a third party for a purpose other than conducting our client’s research unless we have your express prior consent or are required to do so by an Australian law or court/tribunal order.

In the course of conducting our client’s research, we may rely on third-party service providers to host or store the data we collect who are located overseas. In most cases, this survey data and research information will not be personally identifiable. We will also take reasonable steps to ensure any service providers (and their employees and contractors) comply with the Privacy Act and this Privacy Policy and/or are subject to similar privacy laws and you have the ability to enforce those rights.


You have the right to request access to any personal information we hold about you. You can request this information by contacting the Privacy Officer at the details listed below. Where we hold information that you are entitled to access, we will respond to your request in a reasonable time and endeavour to provide you with a suitable range of choices as to how access is provided (eg, emailing or mailing it to you). A fee may be charged to cover the cost of retrieval.

If at any time you believe that personal information (registration information) we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, you are able to amend this by accessing our website using your unique PIN number to do this. You may request amendment of it and we will either amend the information or make a record of your comment, as we think appropriate.

Questions and complaints

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or believe that we have at any time failed to keep one of our commitments to you to handle your personal information in the manner required by the Privacy Act, the APPs or the Code, then we ask that you contact us immediately using the following contact details:

Privacy Officer:

We will respond and advise whether we agree with your complaint or not. If we do not agree, we will provide reasons. If we do agree, we will advise what (if any) action we consider it appropriate to take in response. If you are still not satisfied after having contacted us and given us a reasonable time to respond, then we suggest that you contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by:

  • Phone: 1300 363 992 (local call cost, but calls from mobile and pay phones may incur higher charges). If calling from overseas (including Norfolk Island): +61 2 9284 9749
  • TTY: 1800 620 241 (this number is dedicated to the hearing impaired only, no voice calls)
  • TIS: Translating and Interpreting Service: 131 450 (If you don’t speak English or English is your second language and you need assistance and ask for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner)

Post: GPO Box 2999 Canberra ACT 2601 Fax: +61 2 9284 9666

Realtime Research (The Human Network) Website

When visiting Realtime Research’s web site, the site server makes a record of the visit and logs the following information for statistical and administrative purposes:

  • the user’s server address – to consider the users who use the site regularly and tailor the site to their interests and requirements;
  • the date and time of the visit to the site – this is important for identifying the website’s busy times and ensuring maintenance on the site is conducted outside these periods;
  • pages accessed and documents downloaded – this indicates to The Human Network which pages or documents are most important to users and also helps identify important information that may be difficult to find;
  • duration of the visit – this indicates to us how interesting and informative The Realtime Research site is to candidates; the type of browser used – this is important for browser specific coding
  • In order to optimize the Realtime Research web site and better understand it’s usage, we collect the visiting domain name or IP address, Computer Operating System, Browser Type and Screen Resolution

A cookie is a piece of information that an Internet web site sends to your browser when you access information at that site. Cookies are either stored in memory (session cookies) or placed on your hard disk (persistent cookies). The Realtime Research web site does not use persistent cookies. Upon closing your browser the session cookie set by this web site is destroyed and no Personal Information is maintained which might identify you should you visit our web site at a later date.

Retention and destruction of Personal Information

The Human Network will destroy or de-identify your personal information as soon as practicable once it is no longer needed for the purpose for our client’s research purposes. However, we may in certain circumstances be required by law to retain your personal information after the research has been completed. In this case your personal information will continue to be protected in accordance with this Policy. If we destroy personal information we will do so by taking reasonable steps and using up-to-date techniques and processes.

Security of Information

The Human Network will take reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as you transmit your information from your computer to our website and to protect such information from loss, misuse, and unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure, alteration, or destruction.

However, you should keep in mind that the transmission of information over the Internet is not completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from this website may not be secure, and you should therefore take special care in deciding what information you send to us via e-mail.


In this policy "personal information" has the same meaning as under the Privacy Act.

This policy is effective from 1 January 2022. We may change this policy from time to time. Although we intend to observe this Privacy Policy at all times, it is not legally binding on The Human Network in any way. From time to time we may regard it as necessary or desirable to act outside the policy. The Human Network may do so, subject only to any other applicable contractual rights you have and any statutory rights you have under the Privacy Act or other applicable legislation.

THN’s Confidentiality of Research Statement

The Human Network Confidentiality and Privacy Statement


Confidentiality at Rushton Services Pty Ltd T/A The Human Network (THN) is considered in the context of confidentiality, integrity and availability of any data, products and personal information collected and used for the purposes of research.

Privacy at THN is considered in the context of personally identifiable information (PII) that could potentially identify a specific individual.

THN understands the needs and expectations of our research clients, participants and anyone else who provides information in the form of documents or products, regardless of format or media, with the utmost confidence and secure from misuse.

Where information provided is of a personal identifiable nature, additional processes shall be initiated in accordance with legal and industry standards.


Legal and Industry considerations – Australian jurisdiction

Authorities and Responsibilities

Responsibilities and authorisations are assigned and included in position descriptions. Information classification is also explained at induction and awareness (ongoing) via programmed training.

General confidentiality and privacy controls

Assets subject to protective protocols due to the risk nature of data confidentiality, integrity and availability include buildings and infrastructure, hardware and software, fixed and mobile devices.

Unattended computers whether fixed or mobile equipment are locked by the user and is monitored centrally by a designated IT officer.  Access controls of computer equipment and software is restricted to designated IT personnel as administrators.  Individual users do not have access to modify settings.

Secure areas in the building where documents, products or data are stored are subject to lockable restraints using key access.

Operations security protection protocols are in place to:

  • ensure hardware and software is protected from cyber-attack, malware and unrestricted use – access to equipment on a user need basis,
  • cyber security protocols are maintained,
  • operational data is protected via backup from loss of data, and
  • operational data is monitored via logs and audits or other monitoring to track technical integrity and risk.

Documents for research purposes

An information classification system is in place that controls access and distribution of all classified information. Documents received from clients or participants, regardless of format are stored securely as follows:

  • Documents received from clients or participants are received and stored electronically in THN’s document management system under a uniquely numbered project library. Permission to this system is password controlled.  Password protection on outgoing electronic documents is also used by THN.  Staff members adhere to a clear desk and screen policy.  
  • If printed, confidential documents are not left where unauthorised individuals may find them, and all printed paperwork pertaining to projects are stored securely when not being worked on, or when the desk is unattended. They are stored securely as per the clear desk policy.

Products for research purposes

No product, document or part of a document/product provided by a client or research participant may be used on a project other than that for which it was designed.

Products other than documents shall be identified against the product owner [client or participant], the project, security needs according to the nature of the product and storage/retention that ensures product is retained in a fit for purpose use.

To ensure confidentiality, only those persons with direct responsibility for product handling shall be afforded access to the product.


Information handling and transfer

Media handling responsibilities, authorisations and protocols are assigned to protect removable data taking into account the need:

  • to prevent unauthorised disclosure, modification, removal or destruction of information stored on media,
  • provide protocols for use (or non-use), storage and handling of USB’s, DVD’s, back up tapes etc., and
  • disposal according to levels of data classification/security levels.

Information transfer responsibilities, authorisations and protocols are assigned to a senior project role taking into account client specific requests, legal requirements and local issues related to security of project information transfer. This applies to all external parties including clients, participants and outsourced providers/vendors.